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Research Fellows Directory

Elena Poser

Dr Elena Poser

Research Fellow


University of Oxford

Research summary

I’m a cell biologist working on one of the most exiting and complex process of life: cell division. At school everyone studies that during cell division each daughter cell must receive an equal number of chromosomes to be healthy and perform its job in the different tissues of the body. To ensure a successful division, cell must regulate and control many different processes both in space and time to make sure the final cut and the generation of two cells from one mother cell is made when everything is ready to start again the cycle of life. This level of regulation is achieved through different groups of proteins among which kinases and phosphatases which work together to speed up and slow down the division process by activating and inactivating effector proteins and controlling the overall process. I’m interested in a group of phosphatases that is known to be crucial for cell division. Thus I’m working on core basic research, trying to understand the molecular mechanisms that lead to successful cell division and trying to understand which pathways are more sensitive to failure leading to abnormal conditions such as cancer, in which cells can’t properly control the division process and start dividing making mistakes in their replication. I’m working on PPP family phosphatases that are known to be involved in the development of cancer in ways that are still to be clarified, that’s why it is crucial to find the most sensitive pathways responsible for the onset of this condition and involving the PPP phopshatases to work on the development of drugs and treatments that can possibly stop the cells that are proliferating in the wrong way. My work is located at the very bottom of the pyramid that bring to drug design and cancer treatment and aim to shed light upon the mechanisms of cell division in both normal and abnormal conditions that are of crucial understanding in the fight against cancer.

Grants awarded

High-resolution kinetic profiling and modelling of phosphatase substrates in human mitosis

Scheme: Newton International Fellowships

Dates: Mar 2017 - Mar 2019

Value: £64,000